Maurice Sendak on the Origins of Fantasy

Published June 19, 2009 by Graham

At the heart of Sendak’s brilliance is his unforced spontaneousness as a writer. His most epic works: Where the Wild Things Are, In The Night Kitchen, and Outside Over There play out like dreams, discarding the patronizing narrative contrivances of less intuitive children’s literature. But they’re not completely disorganized surrealist romps. Like dreams, they incorporate everyday banal experiences as props and stage dressing in an absurd theatrical puzzle revealing the answer to an unresolved problem from our waking lives.

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